This is the third time I've blogged about Elena's birthday.
As it is the eve of the eve of her third.
I polled facespace the other day.
Asked my friends what I should blog about.
One suggested I write about what
from my childhood
I bring to parenthood.

I thought this was fitting
given that my eldest
the apple of my eye
the child that is a wee version of me
is turning three.

Not two.
Not one.
Not zero.

She used to be zero.
Just today, in fact, she asked us to tell her about the time
she was in Daddy's tummy.

We explained it was
in fact
Mommy's tummy in which she took up residence.
Then she told us that she was ready to come out
she "got born."

Yes, Elena.
Something like that.

Back to the topic at hand...

I learned a lot from my mother.
I think I bring so very much of it into my parenting.
Some of it,
directly from the way she parented my brother and I.
Other pieces I've learned from her mistakes.
As I will make my own
that Elena
(and Stella)
will learn from.

Since I am indecisive
and impatient
and cannot pick
I will present the big ones.

*Unconditional Love.
*The ability to be impatiently patient.
*The importance of "me time."
*The importance of making "kidlet time" a bigger number than "me time."
*How to give the perfect back tickle.
*How to  build a fort with a blanket - using my legs as the support 'beams.'
*Cuddles that end in more cuddles that end in huggles.

I hope you weren't looking for an answer that involved deep thought
or meaning.
Or some story about growing up poor.  Really poor.
About growing up without much, in the way of a father, for 12 years.
Until my mom married my dad.
I could tell you a story about how divorce, even at the age of 19
can still turn your world
upside down.
Or about growing up in a small town with a lot of corn fields, tractors, and judgement.

I could tell you those stories, too, I suppose.
Those are all things that make me who I am.

But tonight
on the eve of the day before my eldest daughter's birth
I'd rather think about butterfly kisses.
The way she annoys me more than any other living creature can
being the most beautiful being I've ever seen.

Second only to her sister.
(But really, it's a straight tie.)

And since I'm a blogger,
and it's what bloggers do,
it wouldn't be right if I didn't drop a snippet in here
about just
how very

I love her.

I do, Elena.
So much.
But how much is so?
Way, way more than you know.

Happy (early) Birthday, kid.
I think you're greater than great.


(PS: By popular demand, I included a photo of Elena in (almost) her entire owl costume.  She was attempting to hide from my camera.  Sucker.)


  1. happy birthday E!

    dont you know you cant hide from your mama's camera?
    but nice try!


  2. So, you knew this would bring tears, didn't you. Wish I were there to share the day.
    For Elena, Stella and you: Cuddles that end in more cuddles that end in huggles.

  3. The costume looks to great!! We just picked one up at Target- but I think that A is going to wear it this year! I am jealous of your time to make one this year though- I can't wait to make coordinating ones for A and my E next year! And Elena's present from us is going to arrive late- I forgot to order it yesterday. oops.